Moebius is a game that can easily be described as being ahead of its time. Strangely enough I haven’t really heard of this game before recently, when I wanted to review one of my favorite C64 games called Windwalker and realized that it is a sequel to this game. Naturally I wanted to try it and I was very pleased with the game.
The story behind the game is fairly simple and not much unlike many other RPG stories. A once peaceful kingdom (somewhere in the far east) is now under the rule of evil forces that have overtaken it and you, the player, become a disciple of Moebius and try to bring peace and harmony back to land.
As I said, a straight forward plot. However the game-play is the real gem of this game.
You start off by creating your character. Unlike most RPGs you don’t have points to distribute. Instead you have to practice the skills you will need. There are three things you require to practice: bare hand combat, sword combat and divination. The last one is not a form of combat, but a test of reflexes. You need to keep the spinning yin-yang symbol within the rectangle. You will need this skill every time you advance to a higher level (slowing down the game helps while doing this – easy enough if you’re using DOSBox).
After training you enter the world of Khantun. You walk around and memorize what you see, creating your own memory map you can call up any time. You have your sword and with it you can chop down vegetation that’s standing in your way. Some is tougher and requires several chops and your sword will with time get duller, so don’t forget to sharpen it. To break down boulders that are in your way use the hammer (you need to get your hands on one first). And if you encounter any baddies you need to fight them (you’ve practiced your fighting skills, so there shouldn’t be a problem there).
Pressing ‘escape’ will call up a menu, which among other things shows you the abbreviations of the commands you can use (for instance: G means GET, U means USE). It’s useful to know the commands, since you can run into a treasure chest, but you need the right command to open it (same with doors). Also remember to poke around dead corpses in order to see what they were carrying. Sometimes you can get very useful items from them. The rest you’ll discover by playing for yourself.
All in all this is a very pleasant combination of top down exploring and face-to-face combat, with an interesting (although not too original) story behind it. Definitely an overlooked gem you should try. Chances are, you’ll enjoy it!